Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Plan Check: Avoid that soggy bun with ketchup leather

Plan Check burger
Plan Check opened today on Sawtelle Blvd., and as one of the few non-Japanese restaurants on the strip, it needs to rock a few great hamburgers to be a respectable gastropub. So chef Ernesto Uchimura, former executive chef at Umami Burger, has created ketchup leather, a solidified sheet of ketchup that locks the tomato flavor in place without saturating the Portuguese-style bun. Like the Umami burger, the Plan Check burger sports a shiitake mushroom topper and a deeply beefy flavor. And while Umami burgers are topped with specially-made cheese slices, at Plan Check (blueprint-themed, and named for the nearby L.A. Building and Safety Department), it's the ketchup leather that draws attention. There's also the Bleuprint burger, with blue cheese and pig candy, and the Chef's favorite burger, with two cheeses, two types of bacon, and a fried egg. We were invited to try a few dishes from the menu, including the ultra-crunchy fried chicken with pickled okra and fries made with beef tallow. Yes, this is hearty and rich food, made for enjoying with Japanese beer on tap and some fine rye whiskeys.
With a great sidewalk patio, reasonable food prices and a Japanese-accented cocktail menu by the ubiquitous Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix, Plan Check looks sure to be a popular alternative to the ramen and sushi spots. And don't miss the perfectly puckery Little Osaka Sour cocktail, with bourbon, plum wine, lemon and egg white.
Plan Check Bar, 1800 Sawtelle Blvd., West L.A.

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